It’s been 35 years since we left Cambodia. We left by necessity and for survival purpose. Our family are among the luck few who were able to start a new life in the USA thanks to the generosity of a few charitable organizationsuch as UNICEF, Catholic Social Service Organization, Nationality Service Center, and the US Government. Both my wife and I are survival of the Cambodian Holocaust during the Khmer Rouge period 1975-1979. For additional contextgo here.
The last time we were here was back in 2008. Things have changed tremendously even overthe last 6 years. The forces of modern progress are seen everywhere. This month (July 2014), my family are back but this time for a different reason. We are here to reflect, introduce our kids to a country my wife and I were born. The stories we told them about the Khmer Rouge was only a story with no context. Being here with them physicallyin some ways helps them connect the country to the story (history). Having our kids gain perspective and a sense of appreciation of how lucky they are to be able to grow up in the US is our ultimate goal. Self-reflection, meet family members, and doing some volunteer work are part of our itinerary this trip.
As you read this passage, the juxtaposition of the past during the Khmer Rouge period versus our current activities could not be more different. Yes, we are VERY lucky.
Our first three days in Cambodia. We visited the resort town of Sihanoukville. This is the place where most Cambodians go for holidays. We needed this to get over jet lags (11 hrs difference).
Looking at this picture you would think it is no different than from a typical resort in US. This is only one part of Cambodia. Stay tuned for many more scenes as we travel across the country in next couple of weeks. Cambodian version of Taxi